Education.com
Try
Brainzy
Try
Plus

Do Hand Soaps and Sanitizers Prevent the Growth of Bread Mold?

based on 285 ratings
Author: Erin Bjornsson
See in slideshow:
10 Food Experiments for Kids

Have you ever gone to make a sandwich only to discover that the last two slices of bread have mold on them? We are always told to use soaps and hand sanitizers to clean our hands of tiny organisms, but will they prevent mold growth, too?

Problem:

Determine whether or not hand soaps and sanitizers prevent the growth of bread mold.

Materials:

  • 8 slices of fresh bread with no preservatives
  • 16 sealing plastic sandwich bags
  • Latex or Nitrile gloves
  • Sticky labels or masking tape
  • Pen
  • Toaster
  • Knife
  • Spray bottle
  • Baking sheet
  • Camera
  • Measuring teaspoon
  • Liquid Soap
  • Hand Sanitizer

Procedure:

  1. Put on the gloves. In addition to keeping our hands clean, why else do you think we might want to wear gloves while we set up our experiment?
  2. Toast 4 slices of bread. What effect do you think toasting the bread will have on mold growth?
  3. Cut all 8 of the bread slices in half so that you have 16 pieces total: 8 toasted pieces and 8 untoasted pieces.
  4. You will be creating specimens in sandwich baggies according to the following chart:

 

Bag Number Sealed? Toasted? Treatment:
1 Sealed Toasted None
2 Sealed Toasted Water only
3 Sealed Toasted Hand Soap only
4 Sealed Toasted Hand Sanitizer only
5 Sealed Untoasted None
6 Sealed Untoasted Water only
7 Sealed Untoasted Hand Soap only
8 Sealed Untoasted Hand Sanitizer only
9 Unsealed Toasted None
10 Unsealed Toasted Water only
11 Unsealed Toasted Hand Soap only
12 Unsealed Toasted Hand Sanitizer only
13 Unsealed Untoasted None
14 Unsealed Untoasted Water only
15 Unsealed Untoasted Hand Soap only
16 Unsealed Untoasted Hand Sanitizer only

Bread Mold Materials

  1. Put 1 piece of untoasted bread in a sandwich bag and seal it. Label it as “untoasted, sealed.”
  2. Put 1 piece of toasted bread in a sandwich bag and seal it. Label it as “toasted, sealed.”
  3. Put 1 piece of untoasted bread in a sandwich bag and leave it unsealed. Label it as “untoasted, unsealed.”
  4. Put 1 piece of toasted bread in a sandwich bag and leave it unsealed. Label it as “toasted, unsealed”. Why do you think we’re leaving some of the bags unsealed? What effect do you think this will have on mold growth?
  5. Fill the spray bottle with water.
  6. Put 2 pieces of toasted bread and 2 pieces of untoasted bread into their own sandwich bags.
  7. Spray each piece lightly with water.
  8. Close 1 of the toasted bags and 1 of the untoasted bags, leaving the other two unsealed. Label each bag appropriately (for example: “untoasted, unsealed, water”).
  9. Add 1 teaspoon of soap to the water in the spray bottle. Mix well.
  10. Put each of 2 pieces of toasted bread and each of 2 pieces of untoasted bread into their own sandwich bags.
  11. Spray each piece lightly with the soapy water.
  12. Close 1 of the toasted bags and 1 of the untoasted bags, leaving the other two unsealed. Label each bag appropriately (for example: “sealed, toasted, soap”)
  13. Dump out the soapy water in the spray bottle and wash the bottle well. Fill it again with water and add 1 teaspoon of hand sanitizer. Mix well.
  14. Put each of 2 pieces of toasted bread and each of 2 pieces of untoasted bread into their own sandwich bags.
  15. Spray each piece lightly with the hand sanitizer-water mixture.
  16. Close 1 of the toasted bags and 1 of the untoasted bags, leaving the other two unsealed. Label each bag appropriately (for example: “sealed, untoasted, hand sanitizer”).
  17. Lay out all of the bags on the baking sheet spray-side up. Be sure the labels are visible.
  18. Place the tray in a warm, dark place. Why do you think we’re leaving our bags in these conditions? What does mold need to grow?
  19. After 1 week, seal all of the open bags. Be sure not to open any of the bags again once mold starts to grow. Which bread do you think will grow the most mold? Which bread do you think will grow the least? Why? Use this as an opportunity to formulate your hypothesis.
  20. Take notes and pictures over the next 21 days. When does mold start growing? Which grows the fastest? If you cannot take pictures, a great way to document mold growth is by recording your observations in a sketchbook!
  21. After you’ve completed your experiment, dispose of the bread, keeping the bags sealed.
Add your own comment